For the Going The Extra Mile project, 2017 was a year of milestones and great successes, with volunteers from around the country banding together to make a difference in their communities. Take a look back at a few of the organisation’s achievements last year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.Mathiba MolefeFor the Going The Extra Mile (GEM) project, 2017 started off well enough, with its volunteer community growing steadily as word spread of its work, but few could have guessed the scale of its success.In 2017, Going the Extra Mile touched the lives of more than 30,000 people, with about 4,000 of them being direct beneficiaries of the efforts of the many volunteers who gave up their time to work towards improving lives.Throughout the year the project listed more than 370 events in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, working with 45 non-government organisations.At more than an event a day, GEM offered almost everyone an opportunity to make a difference at some point during the year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.“There’s a social activity for everyone on the GEM app and if you haven’t already, download GEM project & check it out for yourself.”Onwards and upwardsHaving raised the bar in 2017, GEM is gearing up to make similar strides in 2018 with the continued support of its volunteer and stakeholder community.“We’re definitely keen on going nationwide,” explains Ramada. “What we want to do is identify champions in the communities we haven’t reached yet and get them to help us spread our reach and build our network of non-profit organisations and volunteers.”Currently working in three of the country’s nine provinces, in 2018 GEM aims to offer people across the entire country an opportunity to work for the greater good while earning rewards either for themselves or the listed organisation of their choice.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home. This is a view shared by Brand South Africa and, through partnerships such as the one with GEM, it is definitely a possibility.“We hope that the nation will continue to contribute to positive change because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live, is beneficial for everyone,” says Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home.Get involvedRamada concludes: “South Africa is one of the best countries in the world, so why not get involved, why not work together to do good, feel good and be good?”To find out how you can volunteer for one of GEM’s projects, check out the GEM website and download the app or simply dial *120*GEM1# to get started. You can also follow GEM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.